BRYAN, Texas - Texas A&M University broke ground on its state-of-the-art Equine Complex, the future home of the National Champion A&M equestrian team, on Tuesday. The first phase of the project, funded at approximately $35 million, is expected to be complete in 2014. The full-scope plan is projected to cost $80 million when completed.
The equestrian facility will include locker rooms, offices, a concessions building, a 50-stall barn, two covered warm-up arenas and two covered competition arenas, and will be the premier collegiate equestrian facility in the country.
"We are very excited and grateful to be a part of this Equine Initiative," head coach Tana McKay said. "It is such a great opportunity for Texas A&M to showcase their strength in the equine industry. This state-of-the-art facility will be a great asset to our successful equestrian team. We are looking forward to drawing great athletes to Texas A&M University, as well as enhancing their experience as an NCEA athlete."
The College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at A&M joined together to create the Texas A&M Equine Initiative which will provide industry-leading, comprehensive equine science research, education and outreach programs, and a home for Texas A&M student activities. The first phase was approved by the Texas A&M Board of Regents in May of 2012 and was supported by an anonymous cornerstone gift, in-kind gifts and other major gifts.
Phase I will include facilities for the Aggie equestrian team and a cross-country course in collaboration with Texas A&M Athletics. New facilities for the Parsons Mounted Cavalry are also included in the plan.
This unique center represents a partnership between multiple entities and agencies within Texas A&M University including CVM, Texas A&M AgriLife/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/the Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M Athletics and Transportation Services.
The Aggie equestrian team (1-1, 0-1 SEC) won its 10th and 11th national championships in April at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) Championship, securing both the western title and the overall crown. The team is currently ranked fourth in the nation in its first season in the Southeastern Conference, which added equestrian as the 21st sponsored sport in June.
The Aggies are back in the arena Saturday as they face No. 3 Auburn on the road at 10 a.m. To learn more about Texas A&M equestrian, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieEquestrian on Twitter.